Canada 2017 – Banff, Lake Louise & the Bow Valley Parkway Part 2

27th June, 2017.

Moving on from the bear, we arrived at the Lake Louise Gondola which is quite a distance from Lake Louise itself.

We had the choice of taking a gondola or a chairlift to the top. Remembering Swiss chairlifts and how nimble one needed to be to get on one (they literally sweep you off your feet!), I chickened out and we took the gondola.

The attendant had told us to look out for a grizzly mother and her two cubs around pylon 16 and there they were.

The view from the top was quite breathtaking.

Lake Louise can be seen in the distance just at the start of the line of trees on the right.

Zooming in on Lake Louise and the famous Fairmont Chateau Hotel.

One of the attendants took this photo of us with Lake Louise in the background.



I was more adventurous on the return journey as the attendant told me they slow down the chairlift in summer time.

We were lucky enough to see the bears again but much further down the mountain this time and better able to photograph them from the chairlift.

We had lunch at one of the cafes at the gondola base station but there was not much else to see so rather than wait for our Hop On bus we took the free shuttle to Lake Louise Mall.

Bear spotting is a popular activity here.

I wondered why we were the only ones getting off there; everyone else continued on to Lake Louise Chateau. It didn’t take long to work out why! The “Mall” was just a tourist trap of shops and restaurants all jammed with people.

We had a while to wait for our Hop On bus so we went for a short walk to get away from the crowds and found this river rushing past the back of the shops.

Our next stop was Moraine Lake on a dead end road. Attendants man the turn off and close the road to incoming traffic when it is too congested at the lake car park. We were so pleased that we were on the bus instead of in the motorhome.

We finally made it to Lake Louise where it was once again teeming with people. There was even a wedding taking place at the Chateau.

Taking a break beside the lake.

The Hop On bus took the reverse route back to Banff, picking up and dropping off passengers at the various stops and dropping us off again at the railway station where we waited for our transit bus to return us to Canmore. It was a fantastic day and we felt the Hop On Hop Off bus tour was the ideal way to see all the sights.

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